Law and Order, Local Police Reports, Park Forest

First of Two Charged with DUIs on Same Day: Police Reports

Park Forest, IL-(ENEWSPF)- Two people face DUI charges over separate incidents on the same day in early January. One allegedly involved alcohol, the other “crack” cocaine. The first week of January saw four people arrested and charged with DUIs. This is the first of the four DUIs charged that week.

Park Forest Police Blotter Reports for January 7, 2024

First of Four DUIs Charged in One Week

Denise T. Collins, first of four charged with DUIs
Denise T. Collins was the first of four people charged with DUIs during this week in January. (Photo: PFPD)

Police arrested Denise T. Collins, 40, 223 Davis St., Joliet, on January 7 and charged her with driving under the influence of alcohol, aggravated speeding over the limit, improper lane usage, and illegal transportation of alcohol. She was the first of four people charged with DUIs the first week of January.

She had a preliminary court date at Markham Courthouse on February 16.

An officer was patrolling, driving southbound in the curb lane on Western Avenue from South Street at 1:08 AM in a marked vehicle. The officer drove the speed limit, according to the report. It was actively snowing, and the road conditions were wet.

A gray 2012 GMC Terrain passed the officer on the left as he drove southbound. According to the report, the Terrain allegedly drove in the median lane, traveling in the same direction as the officer. According to police, that vehicle reportedly drove above the speed limit as it passed the officer.

Police: GMC Terrain Accelerates and Weaves

According to police, the vehicle accelerated and was weaving within its lane of traffic. The officer did a computer inquiry of the car. This returned an expired registration in April 2023 registered to Denise Collins of Riverdale. According to police, the vehicle allegedly traveled over the center lane line near Birch Street and returned to the median lane. It then traveled over the double yellow line marker as it continued southbound, allegedly reaching 65 miles per hour, according to police.

The GMC’s right turn signal activated, and the vehicle moved into the curb lane. It then crossed the center lane line into the median lane before coming to rest in the curb lane, according to police. Here, according to police, it blocked the intersection at Apple Lane.

The driver said her son was ill.

The officer walked up to the driver’s side of the vehicle and told the driver and sole occupant the reason for the stop. She eventually provided her Illinois identification card, which identified her as Denise T. Collins, according to police.

Ms. Collins told the officer that her son had cancer. She said she was driving home to take him to the hospital.

According to the report, the officer observed that she had bloodshot, glassy eyes. He detected the odor of an alcoholic beverage emanating from her breath as she spoke, according to police.

The officer discovered that Ms. Collins had a valid driver’s license. She was eating a hamburger and believed she was only traveling about 35 to 40 miles per hour, according to police.

Police: Driver Denies then Admits to Drinking

While Ms. Collins searched for her proof of insurance, the officer went to the vehicle’s passenger side. He saw a large bottle of alcohol with clear plastic cups, according to police.

The officer asked how much alcohol she had consumed. Ms. Collins initially stated that she did not have any alcohol but quickly continued saying that she did consume a “cup of wine,” according to police.

The officer asked that Ms. Collins exit her vehicle for further testing.

She opened the driver’s door and had to put her boots on. According to police, she dropped her phone onto the pavement.

The officer administered Standardized Field Sobriety Tests. The tests Ms. Collins performed are detailed in the report.

Driver Arrested

After the testing, the officer advised Ms. Collins that she was under arrest.

At the Park Forest Police Department, the arresting officer read the Warning to Motorists to Ms. Collins at 1:53 AM and began the 20-minute required observation. The officer then asked Ms. Collins to submit to a breath test. She refused.

Later, at 2:16 AM, police again offered Ms. Collins the opportunity to take a breath test. She still refused the test, allegedly advising she was not belligerent or an alcoholic, according to the report. Ms. Collins reportedly said she wasn’t going to take the test because she had already passed the other “soriety” tests, according to police.

Police captured this incident on a body-worn camera. This was the first of those charged with DUIs that week. The next three will follow.

About Police Reports

Please note that we repeatedly say “according to police” in these reports and often use “allegedly.” We are not asserting in any way that those police arrested and charged committed any offenses. We report on what is in the reports that the police furnish to us. As those accused are innocent until proven guilty, the burden is on prosecutors and police to prove all alleged crimes.

eNews Park Forest has continuously published the addresses of those arrested and will continue to do so. 5 ILCS 140/2.15 states that the governmental body (for these reports, the Police Department), shall release information on those charged, including their name, age, and address. This information is necessary to ensure the proper identity of those arrested.

Presumption of Innocence

An arrest does not mean that a person is guilty. The law presumes all those whom police arrest are innocent until proven guilty. It is the policy of eNews Park Forest not to remove items from the public record from publication. Suppose you find your name in the police reports. Our policy is that we will only add information relevant to the final disposition of the case at hand, e.g., “Mr. Smith was subsequently acquitted,” “Mr. Smith entered a guilty plea,” or “All charges against Mr. Smith were subsequently dropped.” We will do so upon receiving and verifying proof of such disposition.

We do not strike, “unpublish,” or delete news.

Police captured all the incidents in this report on body-worn and dash-mounted cameras by officers at the respective scenes, according to police. All Park Forest police officers wear body-worn cameras. Officials typically abbreviate these devices as BWC in the reports.

We encourage persons wishing to leave anonymous information on any criminal matters, including narcotics or gang activity, to call the Park Forest Police Department Investigations Division at (708) 748-1309.